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Man United: Ten Hag must ditch Antony for Bournemouth clash

Manchester United continue their hectic run of festive fixtures with a meeting at home to Bournemouth this evening, with the Old Trafford outfit heading into the match off the back of three successive Premier League victories.

The Red Devils’ latest triumph came away to Wolverhampton Wanderers in what was a hard-fought contest at Molineux, with the visitors eventually running out 1-0 winners courtesy of Marcus Rashford’s second-half strike.

The England international had been dropped to the bench as punishment for missing a team meeting, although the 25-year-old quickly got himself back into Erik ten Hag’s good books after firing the away side into the lead after entering the fray at the interval.

The in-form menace – who was later denied a second of the day after being penalised for inadvertently handling the ball – now boasts an impressive haul of 11 goals in just 22 games across all fronts this term, with three goal involvements to his name in his last two top-flight outings.

That hot streak has been in stark contrast to the form of summer signing, Antony, with the £86m addition having endured a mixed start to life in English football with just three goals and zero assists from his 14 appearances for United to date.

Those strikes had come in the Brazilian’s first three league games for his new club, with the former Ajax starlet having since failed to maintain that early momentum after enduring a barren run in front of goal.

The 22-year-old was particularly underwhelming in the latest clash with Julen Lopetegui’s side, having squandered two gilt-edged chances to put his side ahead in the first half, after first heading an effort straight at opposition goalkeeper, Jose Sa.

Should Antony be dropped against Bournemouth?

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The fleet-footed gem then missed another headed chance just before the break as he produced a tame attempt at the back post that again fell kindly to Sa, with that coming after teammate Anthony Martial had failed to make adequate contact on the initial ball into the box.

It was not just those missed chances alone that saw Antony underwhelm, however, with the 15-cap speedster having been particularly wasteful in possession after losing the ball on 21 occasions in his 89-minute outing, while also winning just three of his seven ground duels.

That slack showing saw the £200k-per-week man criticised by the National’s Andy Mitten for having been ‘too extravagant‘ on the ball, with the one-time Sao Paolo asset having also previously been dubbed a “clown” by club legend Paul Scholes for showboating.

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While there may be nothing wrong with the 5 foot 9 ace expressing himself when in possession, the forward is simply struggling to offer an end product alongside that flair, having perhaps been somewhat fortunate not to be withdrawn sooner at the weekend.

With the likes of Alejandro Garnacho and Anthony Elanga offering competition on the flanks – and with Jadon Sancho having also been pictured making his return to Carrington – it could well be time for Antony to be ditched from the side against the Cherries.